Song Review: BLANK2Y – Thumbs Up

BLANK2Y - Thumbs UpWe have another 2022 debut on our hands, as BLANK2Y give a thumbs up to the K-pop industry. They’re the first idol group to hail from the recently established Keystone Entertainment. (Side note: it always surprises me when newish agencies debut groups with so many members. Isn’t that super expensive??). Some of the guys come from disbanded groups 1THE9 (check out the mega-bop Bad Guy, btw) and ENOi, along with survival series like Produce 101, I-LAND and Wild Idol. That’s a ton of pedigree. So, does Thumbs Up leave a memorable mark?

I wish I could say it did! We’ve had so many rookie groups so far this year, but very few have stood out in a big way. Thumbs Up has some good instincts, but they’re undercut by its desire to fit in with the crowd. The song’s first thirty seconds tell you everything. Hmmm… where have we heard this clattering synth sound before? Could it be… in about a million other recent boy group songs?

Thankfully, Thumbs Up improves as we move into the verses. The beat is nice and the guys deliver a convincing performance that drives the energy home. The pre-chorus is even better, building anticipation without slowing down or upending momentum. However, Thumbs Up’s chorus is bound to polarize. I find it pretty obnoxious, but if you like obnoxious you’ll probably fall in love. The melody feels too nursery-rhyme for me, as that familiar synth drop returns full force. The song slavishly follows K-pop tropes by moving toward a final-minute bluster-a-thon, but there’s some potential here. BLANK2Y just need to find a perspective of their own.

Hooks 7
 Production 8
 Longevity 8
 Bias 7

16 thoughts on “Song Review: BLANK2Y – Thumbs Up

  1. Tbh, I wasn’t expecting anything new from this debut, especially when I saw the guys’ concept photo attached to the review.
    C’mon, wtf has happened to you, boy groups? Bring us something different to the table!

    P.s. I’m definitely kidding here, but…didn’t South Korean authorities ban agencies from giving BGs any other-styled songs apart from this obnoxious hip-hop garbage? ‘Cause we haven’t really heard anything but these ultra-generic noisy tracks from them this month! Yeah, sorry for my dumb sense of humour, don’t look down on me😂

    All in all, I can give it no more than 6.75.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I totally did listen to this the day it was released, because obnoxious is catnip, and… it’s kind of obnoxious. I’m giving it three stars and provisional banger status until I can hear it in the car. I’m not all that excited about it though. Mostly it just made me want to listen to God’s Menu again.


  2. How does one pronounce this name? I want to say “Blankie”.

    I get bonus points for remembering most of their former groups, and a song from each too.

    That’s all I got.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like that it has some finesse to it. But it needs a remix and some elements edited out. If it was faster, lighter, anything I’d dig it because the members have some personality. So much generic boy group stuff this year. And it’s not actively awful, which i would admire for its commitment, it’s just kind of there. I’m so tired.


    • Oh, I saw that yesterday. LUNARSOLAR for those not following the kpop news. Also Hot Issue disbanded, which is not the same group as Hot Place (who also disbanded).

      It’s like hatching sea turtles. So many groups debut each year, and only a fraction will survive the year.

      The Lunarsolar song linked above is upscale danceable fan service video. A little light for my taste, but pretty good.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ok so I haven’t even listened to this song yet but I just realized today that Shinee, Vixx, Seventeen, and A.C.E all debuted between the 23rd and 26th of May. Now I’m not superstitious or anything but you don’t get boy groups better than that in my book so maybe debuting this week foreshadows a brighter future for these boys.
    Also Bad Guy is indeed a mega bop and I would very much like it if boy groups embraced some melodic heft in the near future.

    Liked by 2 people

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